[Oct. 10] National Coming Out Day Open Mic

Where: HUB 315

When: Friday, Oct. 10, 2014

Do you want to be heard? Got too many words and too much music and too much dance for one person? Do you just have a lot of feelings about queerness? Well then come perform at our open mic! And if you’re not feeling the performance life, you are just as welcome to come watch and show support for your fellow queers!


Accessibility Statements:

– The HUB is wheelchair accessible through the main west entrance on the 1st floor. Once you enter, the elevtors are on the right.
– Please refrain from using scented products such as perfume, cologne and essential oils. The Q Center is scent-free in order to keep the space accessible for folks who are chemically injured and/or have MCS.

The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), or e-mail at dso@u.washington.edu


Asexuality in Spades

Welcome to a collection of questions that are near and dear to my queer heart! Asexuality and its fifty shades of grey, how do you figure out whether or not you fall into the valley of asexuality? How do you navigate dating and weirdness if you’re asexual? How does it fit into questions of coming out? And something that, sadly, is a common question: am I asexual or just terrified of sex? Asexuality doesn’t get talked about a whole lot, so pardon me in advance for inevitably rambling on and on.

Continue reading


[Oct. 14] An Evening with Janet Mock @ the University of Washington

Join the Q Center for a discussion with Janet Mock moderated by Dr. Jen Self!

A book signing and meet and greet will follow the discussion. All meet & greet participants must have a copy of Janet Mock’s book, Redefining Realness. The Q Center is currently selling advance copies at a discounted price of $20 (cash or check). Please call the Q Center at 206-897-1430 for more info or stop by HUB 315 to purchase books.

Event Details:

Doors open @ 6:30pm; general admission & no tickets required. Event begins at 7pm in Kane Hall 120. Book signing begins in the Kane Hall lobby @ 8:30pm.

The event will also be live streamed with closed captioning beginning at 7pm onwww.uwtv.org.

Directions to Kane Hall 120: http://www.washington.edu/maps/.

Driving North: Heading north on Interstate 5, take the NE 45th Street exit. Turn right onto NE 45th Street and continue east to 15th Avenue NE. The UW campus begins at the corner of NE 45th Street and 15th Avenue NE.

Driving South: Heading south on Interstate 5, take the NE 45th Street exit. Turn left onto NE 45th Street and continue east to 15th Avenue NE. The UW campus begins at the corner of NE 45th Street and 15th Avenue NE.

The Central Parking Garage is the nearest parking lot to Kane Hall. Accessible parking is available. Please make parking arrangements at the gatehouse upon entering the garage or contact UW Commuter Services:http://www.washington.edu/facilities/transportation/commuterservices/parking. There may also be street parking surrounding the campus on 15th Ave and University Way NE.

Kane Hall’s front entrance and room 120 are wheelchair accessible, and room 120 is on the first floor.

An all-gender, accessible restroom is located on the basement level of Kane Hall.

Kane Hall is not kept scent-free, but we ask that you do not wear scented/frangranced/smoke exposed outerwear into the room in order to make the space more accessible to those with chemical injury or multiple chemical sensitivity. We will have baking soda available for folks to wash off scents.

Flash photography will be used during the event. Some shots of the crowd may be taken from a distance.

Kane Hall is a classroom space with overhead lighting. Because of the timing of the event and few windows, there will be minimal/no natural light.

If you have questions, concerns, or accessibility details that were not addressed here, please call 206-897-1430 or email Jaimee at jaimeem@uw.edu.

Janet Mock Event Poster


Oly’s Back to School Special

It’s September! The leaves are beginning to change color, the air is starting to feel brisker, and school is back in session. This compilation of answers covers a few topics that are more pertinent for the dawn of a new academic era, such as: how do I deal with living in a mixed-gender dorm full of straight cis people? How do I find a good queer-friendly university? And a throwback to last year, how do I meet other queer people if I’m not out? Continue reading

Welcome Luncheon – October 3, 12-1:30, HUB Lyceum

Lesbian? Gay? Straigh-ish? Trans*? Queer? Two-Spirit? Questioning? No labels needed? Excited about starting school? Us too!

Keep celebrating the Q Center at the University of Washington‘s 10th anniversary and the ASUW Queer Student Commission‘s general awesomeness and come on over to the HUB to be welcomed and celebrated! We are kicking off the new year with a luncheon featuring free food, great speakers, and lots of fun for all!

Community, alumni, faculty, and staff are welcome to come support our new and returning students at this annual luncheon. Be there for all or part of the fun!

welcome luncheon poster

its not funny

When Friends are Gross

I am a cis female who is pretty feminine and recently came out as bi to some of my closest friends. A lot of them are men. Do you have any experience with or advice about combatting comments like “Can I watch?” or “That’s so hot!” when it comes to sex between two women? It makes me really uncomfortable and is pretty hurtful, but I am usually at a loss of how to tell them these comments are not okay. Help me!

That’s so gross! That’s so disrespectful to you and they absolutely need to know that they’re being atrocious friends! I wish I could say that I haven’t experienced this (or something like this) before, but being a DFAB person in a social circle of mostly boys unfortunately puts you in a shitty position for emotional affirmation. Such is sexism. When I say “such is sexism,” that in no way translates to, “Oh well! That’s life!” I’m saying that this is something that happens because men are taught that they deserve access to women’s bodies and sexual experiences and it’s awful and needs to be called the hell out. In high school I was a part of a group of friends that was hyper male-dominated. While I had a ton of fun with them and in a lot of situations they made me feel incredibly supported and safe, it felt so often that my body was on display for them, and they totally took advantage of that. It’s really easy to pretend it’s not happening or that it isn’t an issue for the sake of retaining friendships that matter to you, but I’m really glad that you want to put a stop to it now. There are a few ways to handle it and this is something that definitely requires fine tuning depending on the actual people… you know how your friends respond to confrontation better than I do. There’s a big part of me that wants to say screw ‘em but friendships are important! Wrongs can be repaired sometimes! Ignorance can result in some hurtful stuff but it doesn’t come from a place of maliciousness, learning can happen, and if it’s something that you think is worth a shot I want to support you in that. So. Here are some possibilities:

  1. Pull them aside some time or do it over the phone if that’d make you more comfortable. Say that there’s something you want to talk about, and it’s important to you that they listen. Tell them they’ve hurt your feelings with the way that they responded to you coming out. Tell them that they’ve been really disrespectful and rude. Tell them you’re not a sexual object and the fact that they’re treating you as such when they’re supposed to be your friends is messed up to all hell. Tell them they’re being sexist and homophobic because they completely are. Tell them that if you have a relationship with another girl it’s for you and her, not for them.
  2. If they’re not responding well, maybe rephrase some things. Why do you assume I would let you observe a intimacy between me and a girl when I (presumably) haven’t let you observe intimacy between me and a guy? Why do you think a relationship between myself and a girl would be intrinsically different? Why do you think you are entitled to that part of me past what I have shared with you? Why do you think this involves you at all?
  3. I think it’s important that if nothing’s working at this point, you make it about yourself a bit. Coming out to them was a big deal. You know that and I know that and if they don’t know that, tell them. You took a big step and they’re tarnishing it and that sucks. They hurt you, and you need to know if they’re going to try to be more respectful of that in the future. Are they going to make an effort to not be total assholes about the fact that you’re not straight? Accountability and support from your friends is really, really important! You really deserve that from the people you’re close to!
  4. If you’re not getting good feedback at all like… dump these dudes. They’re not the kind of people who are going to treat you with the kind of respect that you need to have from your friends. It’s not cool that they responded to you coming out that way and if they can’t see that, aren’t willing to listen and apologize, aren’t willing to work to make you more comfortable, those are relationships you need out of. Ending relationships is not fun and kind of scary but you’re doing yourself a favor in removing toxic people from your life.

This is such a hard situation but I have a lot of regrets about letting my friends get away with the way that they treated me. A handful of them apologized down the line and made up for it with really strong support in other ways, but those who didn’t definitely turned out to be not so great friends in the long run anyway. You have to think about yourself here, and you have to know that you deserve comfort and safety from those you’re close to. That’s not an added benefit of friendship, it should be a guarantee.

I wish you a LOT OF LUCK and a LOT OF LOVE!


P.S. The featured picture is from this, mostly because it’s really cute :( Relevant! Applicable! But most just so cute :(

To Flirt or Not To Flirt?

if i like another girl and im not sure she’s gay should i tell her/hit on her? im not really experienced at all

Yeah! Why not. As I’ve addressed before, it’s not super easy to tell if someone’s queer or not. Someone can line up with all of your preconceived notions about what being queer looks like and be straight as an arrow, and vice versa. While there are totally little queer signals you can send out through your appearance, not seeing those doesn’t automatically mean someone ain’t queer. So, you don’t know if she’s gay. If that’s not a conversation you two have had, you don’t know if she’s straight, either.

This is a bit of a side note, but I’m not super into the term “hit on” because it seems like one in hundreds of phrases that treat romance and violence like they’re interchangeable. Also when I hear that someone’s being hit on, I’m tooootally given the mental image of some unsubtle, over-confident ass using a pick up line that lands somewhere between annoying and gross. Flirting, though, I am totally here for. Smile, compliment, show interest, and be genuine about it! Don’t touch without consent, keep their comfort in mind, and be earnest. I’m going to quote myself in that past DQ I just linked you, because I still 1000% agree with it. “Watch body language, listen to what they say, keep your intentions on the table.” I don’t think that hiding the fact that you’re interested in her is a good idea, I’m a huge supporter of honesty and candid conversations. If she is clearly not reciprocating, vocalizes her lack of interest, whatever, step back! Maybe take some time to emotionally move on from the mess of feelings that come with having a crush on someone, and then if you want to, go back and be her friend.

But unless you’re in a situation where you don’t feel safe, flirting is pretty harmless. And even if she isn’t interested, she might be flattered! And you’ll bulk up on your flirting skills. Not really a bad situation in my book. So, go for it. Don’t let not knowing prevent you from doing something that could make you happy!

Good luck!


Student Spotlight (Spring 2014)

The Q Center wishes farewell and a fabulous future to our graduating staff members! James, Ginger, and Lor filled us in on their favorite UW memory, the Q Center work they are most proud of, and what they look forward to after graduation.


James, Ginger, & Lor

James (they/them/their pronouns)

Degree: BA in Anthropology

Post-graduation plans: I’m really looking forward to not having to read or write anything I don’t want to read or write anymore… Also, getting to spend more time with people! 

Proud Q Center work: So far, I am really happy about the different collaborations that have been happening out of the Q Center, especially with Qolors 2014, Queer API Narratives and just how much the presence of Queer People of Color has grown in different ways around campus. 

Favorite UW memory: My favorite UW memory has been meeting everyone that I have through the Queer People of Color Alliance (QPOCA) and being able to go to Queer Students of Color Conference (QSOCC) with them last year and again this year!



Ginger Colamussi (she/her/hers pronouns)

Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Post-graduation plans: After graduation, I am looking forward to joining a nonprofit youth development organization that empowers young people to make healthy decisions, achieve their goals, and create positive change in their communities and in the world. In my personal time, I am also looking forward to reading for pleasure, hiking in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, and spending more time with my amazing partner, Kelly, and my sweet dog, Boots.

Proud Q Center work: I have been the Queer Mentoring Program Coordinator for two years during my MSW program. I am most proud of growing the number of participants in this program to nearly 100 people! It’s been an incredibly exciting and humbling opportunity to meet so many motivated and engaged queer students, staff, faculty, and alumni at UW!

Favorite UW memory: My favorite UW memory is having the opportunity to see Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speak on campus. What a warm, brilliant, and inspiring woman! <<Swoon>>



Lor (masculine/them/they pronouns)

Degree: Master’s of Social Work (MSW)

Post-graduation plans: Aside from scoring a job that fits with my professional focus of working with LGBTQ+ youth and families, I’m looking forward to reading something totally not related to school work and reconnecting with friends who I have not been able to spend much quality time with these past two years.

Proud Q Center work: The support work with various students and developing the grad school class for next spring.

Favorite UW memory: Hum…the many discussions over various libations in Shultzy’s with various cohort members and the laughter from a few folks in the Q Center over this year.


9th Annual Qolors Reception with Mia McKenzie


Q Center Staff with Mia McKenzie

On April 9, the Q Center and the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center collaborated to host the annual Qolors Reception, celebrating and centering the experiences of queer and trans* people of color. Now in its ninth year, the reception drew a record crowd of 135 guests. The reception featured spoken word performances from two fierce Seattle youth, a community art piece, and a video project documenting the rich history of Qolors and its importance to the campus community. Mia McKenzie (founder and chief editor of the blog, Black Girl Dangerous) offered a candid keynote speech illuminating the theme, “We are enough. Reclaiming our power.”

View Mia McKenzie’s keynote speech.